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thedrifter
08-12-06, 07:02 AM
A Marine Grunt's Father Can Finally Relax

Son Has Finished His Last Patrol [On This Tour] -- But Feels Guilty At How He Reacted When He Read Casualty Lists

My son returned to FOB Fallugah this weekend after finishing his last patrol. I wish I could express the relief we feel just knowing this deployment is completed.

He found a few things amusing, the PX was closed early yesterday, apparently Sunday inside the wire is still REMF time.

A sniper had been operating in his AO and doing some real damage. They found what they were sure was the shooter minus his weapon. He tested positive for gunpowder residue on his face and hands, he had photos on him of their position and a schematic of their armored vests. So he'll be processed through the Iraqi court system and will be out faster than crap thru a goose. They've seen it before, especially with the younger males.

I took our good news in stride. I poured a tall scotch, found a shaded spot on the patio and smoked a Cohiba in celebration of my good fortune, not just that my son was safe but that I wouldn't have to try and consol my wife for the remainder of our lives. I can stop checking the Iraq Coalition casualties every day. Perhaps now I can stop this terrible sense of shame that engulfed me each day as well, When I'd check those casualty reports I'd feel a tremendous sense of relief when I saw no Marine dead, only Army. Now, I know the Army parents feel the same when they see 'Marine,' but, this is another tragedy of War, not just this one, but of them all.

Fine, descent and wonderful young Americans are dying each day, yet for the moment their deaths are not a tragedy. After a while, even the media has diminished our losses as a Nation by citing their deaths as numbers instead of people.

So [name deleted] and his fellow Marines are taking a week from their Leave to visit the families of those Marines killed, 4 in [the upper Mid-West].

I remain, Semper Fi, A Proud,& Relieved,

Father of a Marine Grunt

Ellie